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Display Artist
Eli Keszler
Catalogue Number
Release Date
June 25, 2021


Made during the most disquieting moments of the pandemic, “Icons” sees dexterous percussionist Eli Keszler evoke the mood of watching raindrops slide down the window while gazing out at a deserted city that might never be coming back as before. It’s a modern retelling of fourth world jazz — or, perhaps, no world at all. And now, an expanded multi-sensory edition of “Icons” is available for the first time.

Keszler’s presence as a drummer-in-demand alongside some of the most celebrated experimental electronic musicians of recent times (Oneohtrix Point Never, Jandek, Laurel Halo, Helm, Rashad Becker, et al) has established a template for what we might expect from his own solo output. “Icons” wrong-foots these expectations adroitly.

With a new album more or less ready to go at the start of 2020, the New Yorker scrapped his plans, dial down his typically frantic performance style, and explore a long-held ambition to make a tribute to solitude. “Icons” transmits an eerie absence throughout. The palette isn’t cold, rather the opposite; this is a supple and inviting record to nestle inside, and you’d be mistaken for thinking you’d stumbled into a jazz bar at 3am in places. Yet Keszler makes the theme of loss intractable from the music. Leia Jospé’s photography on “Icons”’ cover, and video accompaniment to ‘The Accident’, train in on solitary figures in the city that ostensibly never sleeps and stops moving.

Baroque harmonies, half-heard choirs and gently tumbling kalimbas ricochet off empty stairwells and streets. It’s often unclear where Keszler’s field recordings of pandemic-hit NYC end, and his meld of synth swells and pitched percussion begin. Whether undergirded with faltering slo-mo beats or faintly-detectable church bells, the entire atmosphere is humid and rich, curlicues of fog and steam coiling up toward the sky. A few of Keszler’s contemporaries have tapped into this lambent moodstate before, particularly Daniel Martin-McCormick’s latter day recordings as Relaxer, but Keszler’s access to, and utilisation of, a wide range of instruments sets “Icons” apart.

On top of all this, Keszler is launching a complimentary scented candle with boutique fragrance designers Joya Studio, capturing the smell of Chinatown where “Icons” was laid down. As for the energy of Chinatown circa 2020? You can hear that in every note.

Digital Tracklist

  1. 1 All the Mornings in the World 6:41 Buy

    All the Mornings in the World

  2. 2 God Over Money 3:36 Buy

    God Over Money

  3. 3 The Accident 4:36 Buy
  4. 4 Daily Life 2:35 Buy
  5. 5 Rot Summer Smoothes 2:53 Buy

    Rot Summer Smoothes

  6. 6 Dawn 5:34 Buy
  7. 7 Static Doesn’t Exist 6:01 Buy

    Static Doesn’t Exist

  8. 8 Late Archaic 3:45 Buy
  9. 9 Civil Sunset 4:02 Buy
  10. 10 Evenfall 6:44 Buy
  11. 11 We sang a dirge, and you did not mourn 2:27 Buy

    We sang a dirge, and you did not mourn

Eli Keszler

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Eli Keszler


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Ambient and Modern Classical

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